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How To Integrate Exercise Into Your Routine – No Matter How Busy You Are

We all know how important it is to exercise, but how many of us can manage to find the time to get out to the gym, or pool to exercise?

If you want to find new and life-changing ways to integrate exercise into your routine no matter how busy you are then these tips and tricks can help you.

#1 Make It a Family Affair

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Your partner/parent/child plays baseball and you do yoga. What can you do together on a weekly basis? What if you agreed to try each other’s sport? Perhaps visiting the batting cages one night and trying a beginner yoga class another. Walking, hiking, swimming, miniature golf, golf, trampoline parks, skating (ice or roller), snowshoeing, skiing, and bike riding are all ideas to explore together that will also enhance your relationships.

Contributors: Lori Ann King from Come Back Strong, Balanced Wellness after Surgical Menopause

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#2 Practice Tai Chi or Qigong daily

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Exercises is as important to your body as air. If you don't move it, it will not serve you as well or as long. A body was designed to move, to stretch its muscles, to keep the internal organs working and to circulate blood, fluids and nutrients. If you are sedentary, everything stagnates.  But,healthy exercise doesn't have to be rigorous or require specialized outfits.

Tai Chi and Qigong can be done at any time of the day and 20-30 minutes will serve you just fine.  I practice both, but Qigong is my go-to form because I can do it first thing in the morning before anyone else gets up, this is my time to connect body, mind, and spirit.  If there is a hectic or rushed morning, I can take my lunch hour to both eat something healthy and do my Qigong practice. If there is a mandatory lunch meeting or conference at the noontime, I can always do my practice after work.  Before dinner, I take the time to practice. I believe that I can only keep my family healthy if I set the example, first.

If we follow the Chinese, we see they practice Tai Chi and Qigong daily, in the park, at sunrise, and as a group. They form a community of this easy and beautiful exercise. It may look like a graceful dance, but behind the elegance are exercise movements that strengthen the heart, increase circulation, expand the lungs, and create a healthy internal environment for your organs. There must be something to the fact that Tai Chi and Qigong have been around for thousands of years and the Chinese have one of the highest longevity rates on the planet. Find a teacher and learn the basic moves. Once you have them, you can practice anytime and any day you like.

Contributors: Kac Young from KacYoung

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#3 Commercial break workouts

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Quick short workout movements done during the commercial break of TV shows! When you are super busy and finally have some down downtime, you might not feel that you have the energy for a workout but would rather sit on the couch and catch up on your favorite reality TV show. So why not do both! Pushups, crunches, squats, dips…the list is endless!  It does not take much effort or time to get a workout in this way, but it is very effective.  You will be surprised how good you feel after the episode!

Contributors: Talya Knable from The Mother Fix

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#4 Get Fit with HIIT!

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HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, workouts are increasing in popularity as quick workouts that pack a calorie-burning punch! These workouts can typically be performed in as few as 4 and up to 30 minutes and consist of 40 seconds of performing a given exercise at near-max effort, then taking a 20-30 second rest before moving on to the next exercise. HIIT workouts burn calories quickly, without taking too much time out of your day, so they're an excellent option for anyone with a busy life.

Contributors: Jada Hudson from Curvy Girls Pole

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#5 Prioritize your health

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You have to vigilantly prioritize your health daily. At least 30-minutes of exercise a day has to be non-negotiable. Make your health one of your top values. When you do, you’ll show up more present in all of your relationships, your productivity will skyrocket, and you’ll have more energy for the tasks at hand.

Contributors: Kimberly Spencer from Crown Yourself Enterprises

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#6 Get a training partner

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If you have trouble motivating yourself to get up for those early morning workouts, get a partner! Training partners hold one another accountable for showing up and putting in the work. It also creates an atmosphere of friendly competition that will motivate you to push harder in your workouts.

Contributors: David Spetnagel from Fleet Feet

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#7 Commit to an event

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We have no problem working towards things in life, at home, or at work so why don't we do that for exercise? Simply doing the routine exercise isn't enough motivation for a lot of people. So pick an event, commit, and train towards it! Whether its a Tough Mudder, local 5k or Ironman it usually helps people find time in their busy lives for exercise if they have something they have to complete on the horizon.

Contributors: James Goodwillie from One To Multi

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#8 Bike to work

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When I am on the road and in our Berlin office, I try to consistently commute by bike. I'm least likely to keep an exercise routine when I'm traveling, so this helps me to get in some consistent exercise.

Contributors: Rick McCartney from iRewardHealth

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#9 Get Your Jump On

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So how does one integrate exercise into a busy lifestyle? Jump Rope!

It is absolutely PHENOMENAL! Jump Roping is the #1 exercise that incinerates calories in no time flat!

It gets you in super physical condition. In addition to its amazing cardiovascular benefits, Jump roping increases your speed, agility, strength, endurance, stamina, balance, timing and hand-eye-foot coordination! It's small and lightweight, which means it can travel! You can jump rope indoors and outdoors! All you need is 30mins and you 've got yourself a total body blaster!

Contributors: Lucie B Lindner from Lucie B's Rock Your Fitness 1-1-3

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#10 All About Routine

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Whenever life gets busy, exercise seems to be the first thing we drop from our to-do list. However, throughout the years, I’ve learned that in order to incorporate exercise into my busy lifestyle, I had to make subtle changes to my daily routine.

For me, the first change I made was adding a standing desk to my office. There are numerous benefits to standing desks; not only do they reduce back pain, but they help lower your risk of weight gain as well. While this was just one seemingly small change, it has made all the difference. Another trick I learned early on was to find an exercise I could incorporate into my personal life. For me, that was running with my spouse. Not only is it a great way to work out, but it has been a great bonding activity for the two of us. No longer do we feel guilty for taking time away from the other one to work out - we can do it together.

Contributors: Lyndsay Markley from Lyndsay Markley Law

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#11 Wake Up Early

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Starting your day just 20 minutes earlier means that your whole body is working the minute you get up. This gets your metabolism going and releases endorphins that will help you through the day. By setting your alarm just 20 minutes early you could change your entire lifestyle.

Contributors: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

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#12 Health is wealth, invest in yourself!

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As you wake up in the morning start to move your feet with your toes prepare your body to do the exercise before you even get out of bed set up at the edge of the bed start to extend your ankles and slowly begin to move joint by joint toes to nose. A busy individual should consider exercise in the morning get the benefits of increased energy and time-saving strategy.  Take care of all your health concerns and needs first thing in the a.m., utilize a kettlebell, thera-band or fitness ball workout equipment that incorporates total body training in only 10 min of exercise.

Make everything you’re doing an exercise;  sit down properly and maintain proper posture, drive with your seat upright and focus on core stability, park further away or take public transportation to increase total body movement. If you have kids incorporate playtime in to exercise fun time.

My last suggestion is to eat amazing fruits and vegetables this gives you more energy. Our bodies are complex works of art which require nutrients oxygen at rest and exercise. Continued contribution of these key elements will keep you winning!

Contributors: Pascal Hyppolite from Healthwealth.Fitness, Inc.

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#13 Creative Ways To Exercise

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Instead of meeting up with your local colleagues at a coffee shop, over a meal or chatting with them on the phone, meet them for a walk so you can catch up while you are getting some exercise too.  You'll feel great after, the time will fly & it will be a fun activity to share.

It works with customers too, I have clients who play golf so sometimes we meet at a driving range instead of the office to discuss things especially when you are trying to think outside the box.  A change in venue is always nice and you feel so much better when you are moving and not trapped behind your desk. The other tips I like to incorporate are taking public transportation when possible, parking at the far end of the lot and walking as well as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, it adds up to a lot of extra steps and movement if you do it every day.

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

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#14 Choose the right time

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Part of the problem could be that the time you’ve chosen just doesn’t realistically work. Do yourself a favor and really evaluate the time of day you will be able to work out. Are mornings good? Will you really be able to get up earlier? If you anticipate hitting snooze too much, don’t do mornings. Will lunch work? Think of if it’s possible to zip out at lunch for a quick 30 min workout. Do you often get stuck in long meetings that go overtime? If so, a mid-day gym session might not be the best. After work is another great option for many people.

Contributors: Zondra Wilson from Blu Skin Care, LLC

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#15 Quick Exercise Routines

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Two times a day at work, do chair squats. Set your phone timer for 1-3 minutes, start with less time and work up to longer! Make sure you have a chair without wheels or have the chair propped against a wall. Go to sit down, but before your bottom hits the seat, stand up again. Make sure your knees don't go over your ankles to protect your knees. Practice wall, desk, or kitchen counter push-ups every Monday! Again, set the timer for 1 to 3 minutes or pick a number goal, like 3 sets of 15. Make a rule each time you watch the TV you do 10 minutes of floor leg exercises before you sit on the couch.

Contributors: Melissa Halas-Liang from California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (CAND)

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#16 Go Online to Get Inline!

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These days you can find your favorite workout regimens online! Which means you can skip the commute to the gym or fitness class and work out at home, in your office or on the road. Most workout platforms even have options for different time constraints! So, basically, no matter how little time you have there is a trainer or teacher for you wherever you are.

Contributors: Lesley Logan from Lesley Logan Pilates

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#17 Create Systems to Save Time

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This is probably the most important time saver of all. To exercise, you'll need shoes, clean clothes, a gym bag, water, etc. Have a system so you can have the things you need ready and clean when you need them. For example, always put your gym bag and training shoes in the same place, and always clean your water bottle or protein shaker after you use it. Then you won't have the small but significant annoyances of looking for the last matching sock, and that dang water bottle when you should be running out the door to the gym.

Contributors: Kathryn Alexander from Kathryn Alexander Training

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#18 Sports

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Find some friends, co-workers or local groups with a weekly sports meetup. If it's fun and you like the people you're much less likely to skip out because you don't feel like it.

Contributors: Jason Way from Jason Way ND

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#19 Have fun with your kids

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When was the last time you played tag or tossed a ball back and forth? It can be quite the workout, especially when playing with kids who have never-ending amounts of energy.

Contributors: Marshall Weber from Jack City Fitness

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#20 Schedule in your exercise time in advance

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If you like to take group fitness classes or work with a private trainer or coach, book recurring classes at the start of the month so that time remains blocked off for you in advance. If you are working out on your own, still treat it like an important appointment with yourself- add it to your calendar as you would any other important meeting and hold yourself accountable.

Contributors: Melissa Okabe from Melissa O Yoga

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#21 Gym In A Bag: Exercise Anywhere Anytime

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The best way to integrate exercise into a busy life is to be able to exercise anywhere, at any time.

Finding the proper gym can be a tall order for many people who either don’t have the time or may shy away from any unfamiliar equipment. Our goal was to make achieving your fitness goals realistic for everyone with simple, effective tools that make integrating fitness into daily life an easy part of any person’s routine.

That is why the Pakama Sports Bag was created. Pakama Sports Bag allows users to train anywhere with 10 pieces of equipment replacing a whole gym in one lifestyle backpack, all combined with an app.  With the equipment packed into the lifestyle backpack along with the Pakama app, users have access to over 500 exercises to train in strength, endurance, mobility and stability completely independently.

Contributors: Sebastian Steudtner from Pakama Athletics

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#22 Do desk pushups

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If you have an office job, chances are you're doing a lot of sitting. Every hour or so, take a couple of minutes to stretch and do a few pushups while leaning on your desk. Even if you only do five at a time, doing this every hour over an eight-hour workday adds up to 40 pushups!

Contributors: Cynthia Rowland from Rejenuve, Inc.

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#23 Widen your definition of exercise

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If you’re spending hours doing cardio, sometimes a few short bursts of resistance can be a time-efficient way of making improvements. Is there a shower at work? I’ve been known to run to the office and shower there in the morning. If you have a shirt laundering service, get them to deliver to the office rather than home. Set goals on your fit bit / Apple Watch. I’ve been known to go out for a jog to make my goal in the evening. Taking a walk at lunchtime is good for your heart, brain, and eyesight.

Contributors: Ian Hawkins from Insider Secrets of Public Speaking

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#24 Treadmill workstation

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I've been using a treadmill workstation for about 6 years now and I love it! This is a treadmill with a desk over it that allows you to walk while you work. While you don't get heart-pumping, highly aerobic exercise this way, it can still get your heart rate elevated has great health benefits - increased movement, decreased sitting time, improved posture, etc. Many people give up on treadmill workstations quickly because they try to walk too fast or for too long. I find it most effective for working and concentration when I walk at a very slow pace (around 1.5 miles per hour) for only about a half hour to an hour at a time. Then I'll sit for a while. I may only walk for a total of a couple hours throughout the day - but that is a couple fewer hours of sitting!

Contributors: Sylvie Stacy from Look For Zebras

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#25 Exercise While Traveling For Business

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My trainer created a spreadsheet of workouts I could do on the road. With a few small pieces of equipment and my own body weight. I knew I would be driving/flying every day, and that meant a lot of sitting.   My goal was to maintain the strength I had worked so hard to build. I have worked out in the AirBnBs, farm stays, state parks, beaches and hotel gyms along the way. I paired his workout routine to some music playlists, popped in the headphones and I am on my way!

Contributors: Michelle Girasole from Fresh, LLC

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